Torn Rotator Cuff

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by reniram, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. reniram

    reniram

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    Tore mine a little over two weeks ago. The first week was excruciatingly painful. The pain is a little better now, but still very limited range of motion.

    Anybody here been through this? Did you opt for surgery or PT, and how long before you regained complete pain free range of motion?
     
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  2. JGIORD

    JGIORD

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    Twice on the same shoulder. Actually tore it for the third time as the second surgery had the shoulder held together by threads. Doc said he wasn't optimistic. Go to the doctor and get an MRI. It is the only way to determine the extent of the injury.

    Tears do not heal themselves so it depends on how bad it is.

    Some can recover fully, others never. Getting your range of motion back is more important than strength. That will come back over time.

    Good luck.
     

  3. newglocker10mm

    newglocker10mm Texas Born & Bred

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    I've got torn rotator cuffs in both shoulders. True, they never heal but the doctors, if they are really being honest, will admit that any procedures they do are just bandaids. Range of motion is the paramount concern. My PT said lift less weight, change my workout to minimize stress on the shoulder joint, and work the range of motion to recover. Yes it's going to hurt and yes it's going to take a long time to recover. Getting older ain't for sissies!!
     
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  4. Dragline

    Dragline

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    I had it, confirmed by MRI. Opted to avoid surgery and went with PT and pain meds.
    I ended up basically slacking off on PT and just living with it. I don’t reach up for plates on the high shelves much anymore.
     
  5. reniram

    reniram

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    Thanks guys. From what I've read surgery appears to be hit or miss. And yes, range of motion is absolutely what I'm concerned with.
     
  6. gunsrfun1

    gunsrfun1

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    As everyone else has said, be sure to get an MRI first, to be sure you have what you think you have.
    "Torn rotator cuff" is often used to describe a variety of shoulder issues, some of which are not actually the rotator cuff. I had a "labrum tear" eleven years ago that the doc did a great job of repairing. Not throwing any fastballs, but it's holding up pretty well. No surgery ever gets you back to where you were before the issue occurred.
    As for PT: That varies by individual. PT will not "repair" anything, only help you live with it ... when it works. I never had luck with PT before the surgery. After the surgery, it got me back in good shape. I view PT as a "post-surgery" tool.
    Most important advice I can give you: Get several opinions before you do any surgery. The doc I finally chose was the fourth doc I had seen. The other three weren't of much help.
     
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  7. Pistolay

    Pistolay Wut?

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    I've been dealing with a chronic torn rotator cuff for many years. When I was in my mid-50s, my orthopedist recommended against surgery because he said at my age there was at least a 50-50 chance the surgery would make things worse. He sent me to physical therapy instead. I've been to PT several times for this, so I wasn't optimistic, but he sent me to a guy who specialized in golfers' shoulders, and he turned out to be pretty good. At the end though, he told me my shoulder will never be right. He gave me stretches and exercises to do for the rest of my life and said the best I could hope for was to keep it under control. That was 10 years ago, and I was doing pretty well until it flared up about 2 months ago. I suspect I'm going to end up in PT again.
     
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  8. nerr

    nerr

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    Good advice on MRI: know how bad it is before doing anything.

    Wife had surgery, then PT. She got to about 80%. So like a previous post said, she now has to go on tiptoes to get stuff high (or get me to do it).
     
  9. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    I was lucky. I thought I had one about 15 years ago. MRI said I had one. I went into surgery thinking I had one. Woke up. Doc said it was just bone spurs.

    They ground them out. Then a few weeks of PT. Then some limitation of motion for awhile. Now I don't even think about it and can do anything I want to.

    Friend of mine who's a professional carpenter fell years ago. Trying to catch himself on a rafter, he tore his left shoulder very seriously. They cut him open and operated. For a long time ( I think about 3 months) he had to keep the left arm strapped down to prevent movement of any kind. Then PT. Today he's back at work and can do about anything he wants.

    Good Luck.
     
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  10. LostinTexas

    LostinTexas Exploring Alternate Routes

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    Ask your surgeon. The better ones will do what they can to not operate.
    Most will ask you to try PT first but it all depends on the injury.
    The surgery recovery sucks. The weakened tissue for the rest of time sucks too.
    Good luck and do exactly what they tell you. No more no less. This comes from someone who hates physical terrorists
     
  11. Maxw

    Maxw

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    I had a very old one in my left shoulder that I was living with but I got frozen shoulder in my right one and while I was down with that it was clear that I needed surgery. I had a partial replacement, went thru PT and have no pain and some limits to high range of motion but my total gym helps that. Glad I did it.
     
  12. Dan

    Dan

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    You need a MRI to see how bad the tear is and find yourself a damn good orthopedic surgeon.

    I had a complete tear in my right shoulder a few years ago. It was so bad I had to have two screws installed to help with keeping it in place. On top of that my bicep tendon was also tore.

    One of the worse things after surgery was trying to sleep at night sitting up. Taking a shower and dressing yourself will be a pain for a while.

    After I was in physical therapy for about 5 to 6 months, I started going to the YMCA every day and going in the pool and just do range of motion without getting overboard. The therapist didn't want me going before they were afraid of me falling. But my stubborn ass went and my recovery just got easier and easier. Also used the physical therapy rubber bands to build my strength back.

    2 years later, no pain, no problems but it does get sore in the cold wet dampness which is expected.

    Good luck to you Sir
     
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  13. lazarus66

    lazarus66

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    This is all true and pretty much mirrors my experience with a work related injury. Be very careful that you don't damage the other side during recovery. I recommend an ice machine after surgery.
     
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  14. The_Dan

    The_Dan The underscore is silent

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    I thought I did... terrible pain and punishment for being stupid. Dr got me an MRI and no tear, no real damage...just a strain.

    My sympathies for those who have done worse, I would imagine the pain level for actually tearing it is a few levels up from my painful strain.

    Go see a specialist as soon as you can.
     
  15. Jonesee

    Jonesee

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    I severed the rotator cuff in my left shoulder.

    They went in, repaired all they could repair. Had to "relieve" (cut/disconnect)a bicep tendon that was almost torn from the labrum. The rotator cuff had been severed and retracted to wherever it retracts to and there was nothing they could do.

    No pain now, but I can't raise my left arm straight up or out to the side.

    Do what the PT says.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  16. MAG40 Student

    MAG40 Student Silver Member

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    I had a "punctured" rotator cuff caused by a bone spur. Hurt like hell. I suggest finding the best orthopedic surgeon at the best teaching hospital who has done the most repairs. Have the surgery to avoid future loss of motion. (Loss of motion in the future can cause an untold number of unforeseen problems. E.g. Can't reach your firearm. Can't catch yourself from slipping. Can't deflect a falling object. Can't pull yourself into a boat. Etc., etc., etc.)

    Key to any rotator cuff repair is doing the PT. Do EXACTLY what the physical therapist instructs and not one rep more or one rep less. Do that and you'll recover. Slow and steady is the key.

    EDITED TO ADD: The recovery is not painless, but it IS manageable. Most important of all though is that it is FINITE.

    Best of luck to you, Reniram
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  17. Barry581

    Barry581

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    Had a complete tear to my right rotator cuff. MRI showed 27mm tear. Went in for arthroscopic surgery, doc got in there and found a full lear, plus a torn labrum. He had to go in the old fashioned way to repair the damage, plus had to resect the biceps tendon. Surgery was 4 years ago and I still have range of motion and pain issues.

    Get the MRI, at least you'll know what you're dealing with. My guess in mine tore the rest of the way at some point after the MRI. If you can get away with just PT you'll be a lot better off. The pain after the surgery in pretty bad, and the rehab is also pretty miserable.
     
  18. Collo Rosso

    Collo Rosso

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    Have one in each shoulder. Did the left about 14 years ago and the right 10. Opted out of surgery after talking to a few that had it and being told it's a waste of time. Did some PT and put up with the pain for a few weeks. One doctor was correct that it gets better with time as other muscles compensate for the injury. Every now and then I'll do something that reminds me it's still there.
     
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  19. billorights

    billorights

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    Both. Surgery on both. Probably the most pain I have ever experienced. In my case I feel it every day. Realize that it is never the same as before. I doubt rehab will work if it is really torn.
     
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  20. Jan R Whitaker

    Jan R Whitaker

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    I slipped on some ice and fell on my right shoulder. Doc couldn't sow them back together, wouldn't stretch enough. Did the PT ,helped some but after 4 years there is still some pain and motion is limited. Won't be pitching for the Yankees any time soon.